My son is a 2021 LHP. He isn't committed anywhere and has some recruiting interest from some major D1s in our area. He plays for the preimere showcase team in our state. We finished in the Top 10 nationall by PG and advanced to the finals of one of its biggest summer events. He's 6'0, 190. Velo tops at 87 (once last October) and he will cruise anywhere from 83-85. Runs a 7-flat 60, 93 mph exit velo w/ wood off a tee. That's my son. Here's our story. And let me apologize in advance for how long this is.
The summer before his freshman year, he attended a PG showcase in Ft. Myers and did well. RC of local major D1 contacts showcase director and invites him to their prospect camp the next weekend. He goes and throws really well - shreds the juniors and seniors he threw against. Got up to 82. After the camp, maybe 5 kids were pulled aside out of 70+. He was one of those. PC asked for his phone number, wanted his fall schedule, talked him up etc ... Several weeks later we camped at the other significant D1 baseball force in our area. Threw well there too. Got some individual attention from their PC/RC, but not as drastic as the previous camp.
Anyway, long story short, we don't hear from either school over the next year. My son attends a talent-laden high school in our state w/ a coach that's known to prefer upperclassmen and is rumored to frown on players for playing showcase as opposed to American Legion. He's the only freshman on the 25-man varsity, but throws just 1 inning for varsity that year. Should he have thrown more? Yes. But it wasn't that far of a stretch. They were loaded that year.
Then comes summer, which was a disaster. Hand-foot-and-mouth disease and mechanical issues that nobody caught until I did at the end of the summer kind of derailed the whole deal. He threw OK, but for his standards, it was awful. Topped at 83 and threw a no-no in Ft. Myers. That was the highlight. Meanwhile, several players from his current team are receiving offers.
Fall 2018 - He plays in a fall league and absolutely dominates. Mechanics are fixed. Topped at 87 in october and won the league's "Pitcher of the Year" award. School A (first one mentioned) comes calling again. Their PC travels 3.5 hours to watch him pitch. And he was dominant. 6 innings, 9 ks, 1 walk, 0 runs and 2 hits. Only got up to 85 and was mostly 82-84. PC tells our showcase director that he likes what he sees. Mentions there's a camp coming up but there's "no need" for him to go. Implying like, the offer is just a formality. Gets a call from showcase guy a week later and is told he needs to go to the camp.
Whatever. Not what we wanted to hear, but we'll play ball. We go. Again, he obliterates the competition he sees. This is at a MAJOR D1s prospect camp. I think in the two camps, combined w/ the outing the PC saw, he threw 12 innings w/ 17 strikeouts. 2 walks. 0 runs. But that day, he only got up to 84. No offer.
So at this point, we're pissed and sour. We see more players get offers, some by the major D1, some by mid-majors. "They hit 86 at a camp." So we shutdown. And start working out at a professional facility run by a former big leaguer in our state. Kills himself for 6 months. Goes from 5'11, 170 to 6'0 190. I've got him signed up for PG National Indoor in St. Louis in Feb. It was what was to be the beginning of what we refer to as "The Revenge Tour of 2019."
Then, more BS. Shoulder issues. Keeps complaining and he's not a complainer. He's a warrior on the mound. So I shut him down. Cancel PG. MRI w/ dye, nothing negative. Starts throwing again and has logged 6 innings for his HS team so far this year through 7 games. Velo isn't where it was yet, but that's just a matter of working his arm back into shape.
So that's our story and where we're at now. I've always read these forums. So many knowledgable people on here. I just want some advice, thoughts, opinions, whatever, etc...
Something I've learned about my son is that he's inmature. Like painfully inmature sometimes. He's very young for his age. If we knew then what we know now, he'd be a 2022. But it's too late for that. As we've gone on in this process, I've learned a lot more about the recruiting process. For instance, projection. IF he was 6'2, 160 I feel like he'd hold several offers. And the fact that absolutely NOTHING is guaranteed until we sign on the dotted line. And even then at some schools, and some more than others, you come in during the fall and it's a survival of the fittest battle. It's nothing for them to cut you loose after the fall.
That said, where should my focus be w/ my son? He's an OK student (remember the maturity thing). He had a 3.3 last semester and currently has an 18 on the ACT. That will come up, but I'd be surprised if it's ever more than a 23-24. I've known several kids that have gone to JUCO and had tremendous success. Given his maturity level, this is slowly becomming a more attractive option to me. Our showcase guy has connections w/ some of the country's best. Should I already be zeroing in at junior colleges? Or should I shift to more mid-major types of D1s? Or should we continue to chase the dream of playing major college baseball and redshirt?
If things go well for him over the next 5-6 years, I could see him being draftable one day. He is a lefty and his ball - all of them - have tremendous movement. At a D1 prospect camp last fall, he hit 85 and his spin rates on his FB and CB were both around the MLB average. He's a swing and miss guy. And perhaps most importantly, still just 15 years old.
I'd just like some parental/coach/scout/etc... advice on what I should be doing w/ him. Where should I be looking? Thank you for taking the time to read this.